Elmer On Stilts by David McKee
|Elmer On Stilts by David McKee|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: The Elmer books are classics for good reason: wonderful storytelling, super illustrations, lots of heart and good humour. The audio CD read by Joss Ackland is the icing on the cake for this super picture book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: May 2010|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Who doesn't already know and love Elmer the patchwork elephant? This time round, he's helping all his other elephant chums avoid the nasty hunters. Throw in a CD version of the story read by Joss Ackland - yes, really - and you're on to a real winner.
Elmer's an incredibly popular character for good reason. He's sweet, caring, different and exciting. The storytelling is great too, with a neatly unfolding plot, an amusing concept, lots of problem-solving, and heart by the bucketload. The writing is direct, with a clear and open vocabulary, but it never feels simplistic. Everything about it is top quality, and will strike a chord with all young book fans.
David McKee's illustrations are equally excellent. His style just IS Elmer, just like it IS Mr Benn. Like all the very best cartoon characters, there's something particularly accessible about Elmer that makes children feel they could draw him themselves and want to draw him. There are plenty of enticing and beautiful jungle scenes to pore over, and the pages with the elephants trying on the stilts will have you giggling away.
I'm a big fan of CDs accompanying picture books, so was delighted to see that Joss Ackland has lent his talents to Elmer On Stilts. It's the icing on the cake for an excellent picture book, and breathes new life into it if you're already had more than your fair share of Elmer already. The Elmer stories are rightly classics; highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
The aforementioned The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee is another deserved classic that every child should own. For more trunk-based wonderfulness, take a look at Elephant by Petr Horacek. Do also check out our Audiobook category, which includes picture books with CDs. Dame Edna reading Olivia by Ian Falconer is particularly good.
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